Passenger seriously injured in rollover accident on Hwy. 34 E.

By ELIZABETH RICHARDSON erichardson@newnan.com Authorities suspect that an intoxicated driver rolled his sport utility vehicle on Highway 34 East in Coweta County Thursday night, seriously injuring his passenger. Victor Diaz Jr., 19, now faces one count of serious injury by vehicle pending his passenger's recovery, according to Sgt. Lance Greene, commander of the Georgia State Patrol's Newnan post. His passenger, Salvador Andrade, 21, was last said to be in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
The accident occurred Thursday at approximately 11:35 p.m. on Highway 34 at the 21 mile marker, according to the Georgia State Patrol accident report. Diaz was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer eastbound when he left the roadway, traveled through the median, crossed the westbound lanes and overturned several times. Andrade was partially ejected in the wreck, according to the accident report. The requested helicopter ambulance could not fly to the site of the wreck -- possibly due to bad weather -- and so Andrade was transported by ground ambulance to Piedmont Newnan Hospital. Andrade was transported to Grady once he was stable, according to authorities. When Coweta County Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service personnel arrived at the scene, Diaz was standing next to the wreckage of the vehicle. He was also transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital for evaluation. According to the accident report, Diaz appeared to be operating his vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medications. GSP's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) will be further investigating the accident to determine exactly what happened and see if additional charges or citations are warranted.

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